On April 28, 2016, The Met reveals the new season of live performances. The series has been renamed MetLiveArts, to better express the diversity of its innovative and genre-bending events, which has become a vital part of New York City’s contemporary live arts scene. Leading with elaborately staged productions, both ticketed and free with Museum admission, MetLiveArts continues to push boundaries and set trends for performance in a Museum context.
For the 2016–17 season, through the visionary programming of General Manager of Concerts & Lectures, Limor Tomer, the focus on commissions and world premieres deepens, and the collaboration between living artists and The Met collection and curators thrives. Throughout the past four seasons, the commitment to presenting site-specific works has yielded some of the most powerful live art presentations in New York and beyond. MetLiveArts prioritizes commissioning and premiering new works, and allowing audiences to connect with the content, creativity, and ideas that inhabit The Met.
“The MetLiveArts program continues to provide a unique entry point into our collections, and we are thrilled with its success,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met.” We are particularly excited by the new commissions for the season ahead and look forward to seeing how they connect with works of art from across the Museum.”
Each season has featured an artist in residence from a different discipline—music, theater, or multimedia. The 2016–17 Artist in Residence makes a departure from the world of the performing arts, as we announce writer and sound artist, Nate DiMeo, the creator of the singular podcast The Memory Palace. DiMeo will embark on a year-long exploration of The Met’s American Wing and will create 10 podcasts—each a work of art itself, each focusing on a different aspect of the Wing or exploring the hidden narrative of a specific object in the collection. These podcasts will be developed through deep interaction with the Museum’s curators, conservators, and scientists. All are exhaustively researched and the stories are masterfully woven into pieces of performance art which will be available as a podcast series on both The Met website, as well as on The Memory Palace podcast.
This year’s Quartet in Residence is PUBLIQuartet, the New York-based ensemble that has been reinventing the quartet format, consistently confounding expectations, and gaining new audiences.
Additionally, MetLiveArts will present a new work by choreographer Monica Bill Barnes & Company and artist Maira Kalman, who will seize this moment of expansion and experimentation at The Met for an eccentric, evocative, and participatory piece called The Museum Workout; composer Mohammed Fairouz creates an epic oratorio in response to The Met’s upcoming exhibition on Jerusalem; and the Tony Award-winner Alan Cummingcreates an evening-length musical work inspired by the artist Max Beckmann.
“Now more than ever it is imperative for us to connect the dots: between past and present, ‘us’ and ‘them,’ what is familiar and what is new to us,” said Limor Tomer, General Manager of Concerts & Lectures. “In the 2016–17 season we will unleash the power of the Museum’s collection to make sense of our world by challenging performing artists to stretch the boundaries of their craft and genre—playing with our pre-conceived notion of what performance is, what a museum experience can be, and what to expect when we go to The Met. We welcome audiences to performances that are vital and essential, and that derive their power from a shared experience between artists and an engaged audience.”